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Co-working & conversation

I have worked from home for years, and love the ease and flexibility of working where I happened to have my computer. I think my former coworkers are phenomenal and looked forward to our meetings in an Atlanta-area co-work space, but for day-to-day working, the telecommute life is absolutely for me. Over the 5 1/2 years, I worked many places: a hotel on the Las Vegas strip, a cabin in the North Carolina mountains, the Disney World parking lot, an AirBnB in Carlsbad, and the passenger seat of the car on the Arkadelphia Highway.

C goes to an office each day. He loves the interaction and camaraderie with his coworkers and they go to lunch together most days that they're in the office. Even when given the chance to work from home, C will get in the car and go to the office. While he has his 2 big monitors there and can spread out, he can also avoid the interruptions that I'm accustomed to (barking dogs, buzzing washing machines, and knocking workmen). I also know that it helps C to focus on work at work and on family when he is home.

Given that C prefers a workspace, one of the things that I'm scouting while I'm here is co-work spaces where C can rent a small office, set-up his monitors, and lock his door. This is a fairly easy thing to find in the Atlanta market, but not so much in Valencia. Most co-work spaces will rent you an office by the day, but they don't really allow you to set up shop (i.e., set up those monitors), or to lock your door.

Today I went to check out 2 places. Having the Atlanta co-work model as my only point of reference, I went to my first location and walked right past it. The door was unassuming and if I didn't have the street address, I would never have known that I was in the correct place. The door was gated and the lights appeared off in the space, but I decided to ring the doorbell. A woman came to the door and as I stammered out "Hola, creo que estoy a Coworking Valencia, si?" (Hi, I think I am at Coworking Valencia, yes?), the woman smiles and says "Come in!"

And off we went on a 90-minute conversation about everything from summer golfing opportunities for teens, to recycling, to private schools in Valencia, to her YouTube channel (with over 100k subscribers), and ending up at US immigration reform (she brought it up, I swear!). I did get a tour of the place, highlighting the artwork that she makes from recycled plastics, and her assurance that C would have a lockable office where he could take as many conference calls as he needed.

As I am leaving, my lovely hostess tells me that we absolutely need to check out other co-working venues around the city and regardless of whether C rents space from her, that I should come back for a cup of coffee and more chatting. I left beaming--so happy to have an adult to talk to, and one that is lovely to boot.

From that space, I went on a search for the second co-work space. Again, I came to a locked up building, but this one looked less like a brownstone and more like a 1970s mid-rise with no tenants on the first floor. I stepped back and noticed that there were all kinds of marketing slogans and logos in the windows on the second floor for co-working, so I knew that I was in the correct place. Unfortunately, I didn't have a single doorbell to ring, there were 10. Rather than going through all of them, I chose to email this place and set up a time to go over to check them out; I'm sure that they'll let me know which number to press.

Honestly, I'm not sure if the first option is going to work for C. Physically, it is a great

--if small--space. However, it was virtually empty while I was there. If C needs personal interaction and people to chat with over the water cooler, this will not be a good fit for him.

I, on the other hand, may get a membership just so I don't feel guilty going over to chat with my new friend.


#working #Valencia #coworking #friends #telecommuting

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Atlanta, Georgia | Valencia, Spain